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- A discussion board post allows you to engage with your fellow classmates regarding controversial topics or even to just clarify certain points;
- You can form online study groups and work on homework together through your posts.
- You can apply the knowledge that you have learned in the course material to different situations, including current events.
- You can teach your classmates something and vice versa. In other words, these boards are an ideal way for the entire class to act as educators as well as learners.
- Some professors use the discussion board as a way to acquire extra credit points. Never pass up the chance to gain free points!
- Purpose of the post: Why are you asking a particular question or responding the way that you do? Is it to gain clarification? Or perhaps you have a certain point of view and are interested in knowing how your classmates feel about it?
- Details: Is a brief response appropriate? Or would it be more effective to write something longer?
- Approach: As you write a response, would it help to include outside sources? Or would unique, personal experiences suffice?
- Formatting requirements: Has your instructor specified that you must use APA or MLA when citing sources? Is there a certain minimum/maximum number of sources that you need to use in the post?
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Additional Suggestions for Writing a Great Post
- Keep things fresh and original. Carefully consider the online board topic to write on. Do not merely repeat what has already been written. Spur a new discussion that looks at something from a different perspective. Think outside the box, use critical thinking skills, and challenge your classmates. While you are free to have your own opinion, make sure to back it up with evidence.
- Write with clarity and keep things brief. Your classmates are unlikely to be interested in reading lengthy posts, especially if you are coming off as ranting. Remember that you can always add more details as the thread grows.
- Make sure you give your posts a second look over before you publish it. A typo could create confusion or even change the entire meaning of your question while grammar mistakes will make it difficult to take your post seriously. Proper punctuation is also a must.
- Remember that your task isn’t over just because you have posted a question. You should check up and see how the discussion is going. Elaborate on your points and make sure to respond to classmates when they ask for clarification or challenge you.
- Even if you strongly disagree with a classmate, never allow the discussion to devolve into a petty insult match. Remember that this is an academic discussion board in which mature, professional decorum is a requirement.
- Avoid using slang terms or shorthand. You might be attending a class with a bff, but responding with “lol” or using emojis will not impress your professor.
- Do not be a discussion board post hog. Your participating is a wonderful thing, but don’t get carried away by posting multiple questions all at once. Allow everybody to be involved.
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How to Respond to Discussion Questions WellThink of a discussion board post question that is of great significance to the course. It would not be a bad idea to ask classmates to reflect on your question based on their own experiences. If you are expressing an opinion and a classmate brings up a great counterpoint, do not forget to acknowledge this. The ultimate point of these posts should be to develop a better understanding and even demonstrate open-mindedness. Be willing to allow your classmates to change your mind, just like you would hope to change theirs.
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